How Many U.S. Jobs Might Be Offshorable?
Using detailed information on the nature of work done in over 800 BLS occupational codes, this paper ranks those occupations according to how easy/hard it is to offshore the work— either physically or electronically. Using that ranking, I estimate that somewhere between 22% and 29% of all U.S. jobs are or will be potentially offshorable within a decade or two. (I make no estimate of how many jobs will actually be offshored.) Since my rankings are subjective, two alternatives are presented—one is entirely objective, the other is an independent subjective ranking. It is found that there is little or no correlation between an occupation’s “offshorability” and the skill level of its workers (as measured either by educational attainment or wages). However, it appears that, controlling for education, the most highly offshorable occupations were already paying significantly lower wages in 2004.
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- David Autor & Frank Levy & Richard Murnane, 2003.
"The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration,"
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
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- N. Gregory Mankiw & Phillip Swagel, 2006. "The Politics and Economics of Offshore Outsourcing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2120, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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